Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Meadow management increased plant species diversity in a species-poor, neutral grassland in Herefordshire, UK

Published source details

Costley J. (2015) Meadow management increased plant species diversity in a species-poor, neutral grassland in Herefordshire, UK. Conservation Evidence, 12, 40-42

Summary

The effect of meadow management on plant species diversity was examined in a meadow in the west of England. In 2002 the meadow was assessed as species-poor. From 2002 to 2013 the meadow, along with 11 surrounding fields, was managed as a hay meadow, with grass being mown for hay in late July or early August each year and the aftermath then grazed by cattle. Vegetation surveys from 2002 and 2013 showed that the diversity of the meadow was significantly enhanced over the period of management, with ten additional meadow herb species becoming established by unaided colonisation. In consequence, a colourful, nectar-rich meadow has been created within the space of 11 years.  However, a number of species present on the farm that are more closely associated with old meadows have not yet colonised the field.